Inside a swarm

What comes to mind when someone says the word “swarm”? Instant death, right? Bees attack and don’t stop stinging, right?

What if I told you that a swarm is generally the least aggressive that you’ll ever seen honeybees? No, seriously. A swarm is the colony’s way of creating a new hive: about half of the workers and the queen leave the hive and fly off somewhere else to start a new one. They don’t have a hive or young bees to protect and they’re all loaded full of honey to give them the resources they need to start out right.

The hive that I split in May recovered beautifully and tried to swarm yesterday morning. Luckily the queen didn’t leave, so they all went back inside. I later wound up splitting the hive again to prevent the swarm. This is what it’s like inside that swirling cloud. Pretty cool and not one sting.

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